The Empire Theatre has been in Consett for over 120 years in various forms with major refurbishments in 1912 and 1978 and 2006. Seating over 500 in stalls and original balcony, the theatre is very busy hosting a variety of local shows, professional acts and syndicated films in comfort. The Empire has full disabled access downstairs and the staff are helpful and professional.
Like a lot of older theaters this has an atmosphere all of its own. The auditorium has that comfortable feeling. The annual professional and amateur pantomimes send the place bananas as the kids go nuts. There have been many acts, from various plays to the Moscow Ballet (always well received)to Ken Dodd.
Facilities wise there is a licensed bar with the normal snacks. The front of house cafe is always open during the day (bar Sundays) and is very well used by the local people, young and old. Its a place to sit and chat mid-shop while the kids have a drink or an ice cream.
There has been a very healthy Friends Society since 1978 and these are generally on hand to help those with problems or just for a chat.
As to price, the tickets are half the price of the city centre theaters and a lot easier to get to, with parking a maximum of five minutes walk form the venue.
This small, well run theater is worth a visit, whether for an evening show, matinee or just a sit down and a cup of tea.
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